Why isn’t Jason Kidd be considered a Phoenix Suns legend?

Phoenix Suns (Mandatory Credit: Todd Warshaw /Allsport)
Phoenix Suns (Mandatory Credit: Todd Warshaw /Allsport) /

Jason Kidd is considered one of the best to play the game, however even though he spent four years with the Phoenix Suns, fans don’t consider him among the franchise’s icons.

A byproduct of looking through the over-debated ESPN top 74 players of All-Time list for me was pondering the curious case of Jason Kidd and his relationship with the Phoenix Suns.

Kidd is ranked #35 on this list of greatest players of all time, and even though he played for the Suns four and a half seasons, his name rarely gets mentioned in the Suns’ Ring of Honor snubs. Shawn Marion (not on the list of 74) gets more love from Suns fans than Jason Kidd, as does Charles Barkley who, while ranked #23 on this imperfect list, was only in the Valley four out of his 16 seasons in the NBA.

Why is that?

There are multiple factors, but it largely comes down to winning.

Barkley nearly led the Phoenix Suns to a championship in his MVP, 1993 season, and really put the Suns in the national spotlight for the first time. His teams went on to make the playoffs every year he was with the Suns.

light. Related Story. Is Steve Nash ranked too high on the ESPN all-time list?

Shawn Marion was with the Suns for nine seasons (double the tenure of Jason Kidd), got to the Western Conference Finals three times, was part of the most exciting eras in team history, and leads the franchise in win shares at 93.2. That’s more than Kevin Johnson‘s 90.9 and Steve Nash‘s 82.7.

Jason Kidd’s win share is 37.5.

On top of that, Kidd-led Phoenix Suns teams only advanced further than the first round of the playoffs once, and that was the year Kevin Johnson came out of retirement and the series win came against a Spurs team missing David Robinson.

Then there is also a personality factor. While Shawn Marion and Charles Barkley are funny, affable guys, Kidd has a long history of incidents. When he was with the Phoenix Suns, he pleaded guilty to hitting his now ex-wife, Joumana, and speculation is this helped spur his trade to the New Jersey Nets.

Maybe comparing Kidd to Marion and Barkley is unfair, and I know there are some special circumstances around the man, but it still kind of baffles me Kidd doesn’t get more love than he does from the Phoenix Suns fanbase. After all, he is (arguably) a top 35 player of all time, made the All-Star game three out of his four-plus seasons with the Suns, and his teams had a lot more success than anything the franchise seen in the last decade.

I’m not ready to build a statue for the guy outside the renovated arena, but I am surprised more Suns fans don’t at least claim him as one of the franchise’s icons.

Two other players on this list, Vince Carter and Shaquille O’Neal also had brief stints with the Phoenix Suns, but those were too short (and/or late in their careers) for fans a true connection to them.

LaVar Ball trashes Charles Barkley, no one cares. dark. Next